Metro News – Protect skin during pregnancy

Pampering yourself may not be your first priority when expecting a baby. But taking proper care of your skin during pregnancy is proving to make a lasting impression.

An emerging trend in skin care is products targeted at expectant mothers. The ingredients focus on many of the skin issues faced by pregnant women, ranging from dry and itchy skin to stretch marks and acne.

Things to avoid

According to Toronto dermatologist Dr. Benjamin Barankin, things to avoid completely during pregnancy include anti-aging products, prescription vitamin A and retinol. The use of tar-based products should also be avoided to help protect the fetus.

Beth Witkowski, brand manager for Curel, emphasizes the need for pregnant women to improve their skin-care regimen.

“As women are moving through these milestones, it’s typically time they turn away from the regular brand of moisturizer and start looking for something that’s just going to work better.”

According to Witkowski, Curel’s Pregnancy and Motherhood moisturizer includes a higher concentration of moisturizing ingredients, including shea butter and vitamin E, as well as collagen and elastin. The ingredients are used to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks as well as increase skin’s elasticity.

While the benefits of skin-care products for pregnant women can be seen on the outside, the effects on the inside are not always known.

Annette Rubin, CEO and co-founder of Belli, a skin-care line for mothers, stresses the effects that regular skin-care products may have on a pregnant woman’s developing fetus. Her husband and co-founder, Dr. Jason Rubin, focuses on teratology screening, a process used to detect harmful ingredients. According to the founders, any materials that have even one link to potential birth defects are not used in their products.

“During pregnancy, any chemicals that get absorbed also circulate around the baby’s bloodstream, so it’s hard to say exactly how much of the chemical is exposed to the baby. But during pregnancy you really have to be a lot more cautious about what you’re putting on your skin,” said Dr. Rubin.

According to Toronto dermatologist Dr. Benjamin Barankin, one product pregnant women should be particularly meticulous about is sunscreen.

“Being much more diligent with sunscreen, especially on the face, is very important with melasma prevention,” says Dr. Barankin. Melasma is a dark facial skin discolouration caused by the combination of estrogen hormones during pregnancy and sun exposure.

While women can experience similar skin conditions after pregnancy, some brands have expanded their lines to include products for all women.

Tanya Mackay, co-founder of Mama Mio, a skin-care line geared towards expectant mothers, also offers products to help with various skin-care issues, including dry skin, scars and sagging breasts. The products contain Omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, which help boost skin vitality.

Whatever product you decide is best for you, Mackay suggests choosing something that is not only beneficial for skin but something you enjoy using.

“In life, there are so many things you have to do. So many things you feel like you should do. We want the products to feel like something you want to do and you love to do,” said Mackay.

Metro News – Protect skin during pregnancy

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